What’s The Average Cost to Tear Down a Garage?

Cost to Tear Down a Garage

Whether your garage is run-down, too pricey to repair, or you want to remove it and build a new one, demolition may be the best route to go. Tearing down a garage is considered a partial demolition, which may be necessary for homeowners who are carrying out a major home remodel. While garages are still highly sought after among homebuyers and can actually increase the value of your property, there are plenty of instances when your home may be better off without the eyesore of a dilapidated garage.

In this case, knowing the cost to tear down a garage can help you plan and budget accordingly. There are a number of factors that impact the cost to demolish a garage and the final price will depend on the garage’s size, materials, complexity, location, foundation, whether or not it is attached or detached, and more. Generally speaking, the cost of garage demolition is categorized based on square footage.

The average cost to tear down a garage is $2,500, but it can cost an extra $1,100 to remove large concrete slabs. Homeowners have to spend another $3,250 if the garage contains hazardous materials like asbestos and mold. It costs another $64 per square foot if you plan to rebuild another garage in its place.  

Continue reading for our comprehensive guide on the cost to tear down a garage, which will give you a more balanced understanding of how to budget appropriately for this major undertaking.

Overview of Garage Demolition Costs

In simplest terms, the cost to tear down a garage is determined based on the square footage of the garage. However, the price can vary considerably depending on a number of factors. These include the materials used to build the garage, whether it’s a detached or attached garage, and much more. The following table displays a brief overview of the average costs to demolish a garage.

Average Cost $2,500
Average Range $2,000 to $9,000
Low End Cost $1,500
High End Cost $22,500

Cost to Demolish a Garage by Square Foot

In the United States, tearing down a garage costs an average of $4 to $8 per square foot for detached garages and $5 to $15 per square foot for attached garages. This has to do with the fact that attached garages are much harder to remove since you have to avoid causing damage to the rest of your home.

To put things into perspective, most two-car garages are between 400 and 600 square feet. However, there are several factors that can affect the overall cost of this project. Regardless, the table below outlines average demolitions cost ranges based on garage square footage:

Garage Size Average Cost Range to Demolish Detached Garage Average Cost Range to Demolish Attached Garage
500 square feet $2,000 to $4,000 $2,500 to $7,500
750 square feet $3,000 to $6,000 $3,750 to $11,250
1,000 square feet $4,000 to $8,000 $5,000 to $15,000
1,500 square feet $6,000 to $12,000 $7,500 to $22,500

Factors that Influence Garage Demolition Cost

Like all demolition jobs, and home improvement projects in general, the cost to tear down a garage is influenced by a number of factors:

1. Attached vs. Detached

Put simply, an attached garage refers to a garage that is connected to your home and features a door that allows you to access the inside of your garage via your house (and vice versa). A detached garage, as the name suggests, is not attached to your house and is instead a standalone structure that is next to your house or located somewhere else on your property.

In terms of cost, attached garages are more expensive to tear down than detached garages. This has to do with the fact that there is much more that goes into the overall project, from the preparation to the physical demolition and the repair of the remaining structure. When it comes to demolishing a detached garage, there’s nothing connected to it so you don’t have any additional structures to worry about and there’s less planning and labor involved in general.

2. Material

The material that the garage was constructed out of also has a huge impact on the cost to tear it down, as it will contribute to how easy or difficult it is to demolish. In most cases, brick garages are usually the most expensive type to tear down due to sheer weight alone. Whereas, wood frame garages tend to be the most affordable to demolish.

Not to mention, if some of the materials are reusable or recyclable, you might be able to recoup some of the money you put into the project. Materials like cement, cinder blocks, and wood that is in decent shape are all valuable. Salvaging materials may increase project costs if your contractor is handling the work. However, you could elect to do some, or all, of the salvaging by yourself and save money that way.

3. Foundation

The cost to tear down a garage may increase depending on the foundation it has. More specifically, if the garage sits on a concrete slab that also has to be demolished, you can expect the costs to rise substantially. Depending on the thickness and size of the slab, you could pay an additional $700 to $1,500, on top of the costs to tear down the garage.

4. Complexity

In addition to whether or not the garage is anchored to a concrete slab, most garages have electrical and plumbing considerations. This wiring will have to be disconnected, and possibly moved, which adds to the complexity of the project and raises the overall price.

Generally speaking, the worse condition that the garage is in, the easier and cheaper it will be to remove. A garage that’s in good condition, is anchored, and has wiring, will cost much more to tear down than an old, dilapidated garage.

5. Location

Your physical location also plays a role in the cost to tear down a garage. As you might expect, it’ll be more expensive to remove a garage in higher-income areas or major cities than in a low-income area or rural town. This has to do with the fact that major cities have higher labor costs and disposal fees. Not to mention, if your specific municipality requires that you have a permit, you’ll have to pay a fee to obtain one (more on this below).

In addition to the city that your garage is located in, the garage’s accessibility and where it’s positioned on your property can impact pricing, as well. The closer the garage is to other structures or landscaping obstacles, the more challenging it will be to tear down – thus the more expensive it will be to demolish.

6. Hazardous Materials

If your garage contains any hazardous materials, such as lead paint or asbestos, you’ll have to pay to have it removed before you can proceed with the demolition. Depending on the size of your garage and the amount of lead paint or asbestos it has, you could pay anywhere from $1,500 to $5,000 to have it removed. Again, this is in addition to the cost to tear down the structure.

Do I Need a Permit for Garage Demolition?

In most cases, a local permit (and the corresponding fee) is required for demolition projects of all types – including the teardown of a garage. In major cities, permits are necessary whenever any structure is built, altered, or demolished. Though, there are some areas in the United States that do not require a permit when tearing down a small, detached structure – such as New York City and Seattle.

However, you should always check with your local Building Department to ensure that you have all the required permits. Requirements and fees will vary from city to city, and you’ll want to factor this into the overall cost of demolition. If you hire a contractor, they’ll usually handle the permit process for you, but make sure you discuss this with them first. If they refuse to get the proper permits, this is a red flag and usually a strong indication that the contractor is not appropriately licensed to carry out the project.

Debris Removal

With garage demolitions, you’ll inevitably end up with quite a bit of debris to deal with after the project is complete. There may be laws regarding the number of materials you have to recycle, depending on your city or state ordinances. For materials that you cannot recycle, you’ll likely have to rent a dumpster to manage the debris.

In most cases, your contractor will handle the rental of the dumpster and include it in the overall cost of the demolition. However, make sure you discuss this with them upfront. If you plan to handle the demolition yourself, you’ll want to factor the cost of dumpster rental into the total cost to tear down the garage.

DIY Garage Demolition vs. Hiring a Professional

If you’re looking to tear down a small, detached garage and you’re up for the task, you likely could handle the job yourself. However, the question becomes whether or not you should do it yourself. The answer to this question is, more often than not, a hard no. Tearing down an entire structure is always more difficult than meets the eye.

Doing it improperly can lead to serious injury and possible damage to nearby property, which may end up costing you more in the long run if you need to have someone come in and fix your mistakes. Not to mention, in order to do the job successfully and safely, you’re going to need quite a bit of tools on-hand. These tools can be pretty expensive to gather if you don’t already have them in your repertoire.

For any sort of demolition, you should always consider consulting with the help of a professional. Depending on where you live, there may be some restrictions regarding who you can and cannot hiring for the job. For example, some places have a list of approved or permitted contractors to choose from. So, make sure you always check with the building department in your area.

Related Questions

How long does it take to tear down a garage?

Depending on the size and construction of the garage that is being torn down, the process could take anywhere from 1 to 2 days.

How much does it cost to tear down and rebuild a garage?

If your goal is to tear down a garage with the intention of rebuilding it, this will typically cost you between $44 and $85 a square foot. Though, this price will depend on whether the garage is attached or detached.

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Jessica Stone

Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.

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